Chapter 4

This entry is part 4 of 41 in the Signs of Life

It’s driven me before and it seems to be the way
That everyone else gets around
But lately I’m beginning to find that when
I drive myself my light is found

Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there
With open arms and open eyes yeah
Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there I’ll be there

Drive, Incubus

Thursday, December 30, 1999

Kelly’s: Parking Lot

Carly scowled as her keys slid out of her hand and dropped with a clink to the ground. She started to crouch to retrieve them but her foot slid out from under her, kicking the keys under the car. Wincing, she glared at the glint of silver mocking her from just out of reach. “Fine,” she hissed to the world.

She got to her feet, determined to go in the diner and force someone to get her damn keys for her. She was a Quartermaine now—she wasn’t supposed to be rolling around on the ground like a nobody.

Carly hitched her purse over her shoulder and started towards Kelly’s, but the roar of a familiar motorcycle stopped her in her tracks and she grinned. Jason might be angry at her, but she knew he wouldn’t leave her in the lurch. She waited for his bike to turn into the lot—but it sped right past her, around the corner of the diner towards the alley—and someone was riding with Jason, her arms wrapped him, frizzy brown hair peeking out from underneath the helmet.

Carly growled and stalked towards the alley, determined to put a stop to this once and for all. Jason needed to stop playing in the playpen and concentrate on what was important — getting Carly out of her marriage. That was the only reason he was getting distracted by that child—he was bored—

Carly heard the motorcycle’s engine switch off, so she stopped at the corner, waiting for Elizabeth to go inside—

Only to see the little brat hand him the helmet and say something to him that Carly couldn’t make out from where she was standing. Jason grinned—her eyes narrowed—she knew that particular smile, the jerk—

Then she stared as Jason put his arm around Elizabeth’s waist, pulling her against him and kissing her. Not on the cheek. Not on the forehead. But on the mouth—and clearly not for the first time the way the little bitch curled up against Jason and all but climbed into his lap—she might as well straddle him on the bike, Carly thought bitterly.

“I’ll see you at closing?” she heard Jason asked, Elizabeth nodding and smiling at him. She waved and went inside. Jason watched her go, and Carly was not at all happy about the way he was smiling.

It looked like she was going to have to remind him who came first around here.

Kelly’s: Diner

Elizabeth smiled sunnily at DJ who just squinted at her, since the last time the cook had seen her, she’d tried to freeze herself into feeling nothing the night before.

“You look better, Lizzie,” DJ said. He flipped a pancake. “You pulling another double?”

“Mmm, until break is over in January, I took all the hours Bobbie would give me,” she said, hanging up her jacket and purse. “You, too?”

“If I let anyone else make the chili,” the cook said with a sigh, “we’d go out of business. Miss Ruby said no one ever made it like me.”

Elizabeth smiled wistfully, remembering the owner of the diner who had passed away earlier that year. Ruby Anderson had taken a chance on Elizabeth even though she was the worst waitress ever, and the tough as nails woman had had always had a soft spot for her. “Without you, this place would have fallen apart,” she told him, then went out to start her shift.

A few hours later, as she was finishing the first half of the lunch rush and gearing up for the late lunch shift workers from the docks, she noticed Bobbie coming in, smiling at Penny who was handling half the diner that day.

Elizabeth went behind the counter to check on the coffee, trying to avoid the redhead’s notice. She was grateful that Bobbie had been wrong the night before, but part of her couldn’t quite shake the notion that Bobbie knew Jason better than Elizabeth did. Had Bobbie said something to Jason? She knew she should just trust Jason—he said what he meant, and wouldn’t lie to her.

But that didn’t mean he didn’t also have a deep streak of kindness—that was just her insecurity again, Elizabeth decided. She was listening too much to the people around her who said she’d never be Jason’s type, but he didn’t kiss her like she wasn’t his type—

Except he wouldn’t just want to kiss her. That thought had slid into her head like an assassin somewhere between the third and fourth pots of chili, and Elizabeth knew the topic of sex would come up faster with Jason than it had with Lucky. It hadn’t really ever come up with Lucky, except just that once and she knew Jason wouldn’t pressure her but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t get bored—

“You look like you’re trying to figure out peace in the Middle East,” Bobbie said with a smile as she came around the corner to pour herself a cup of coffee.

Elizabeth smiled tightly. “I didn’t pay a lot of attention in history,” she said, “but even I know that’s probably not going to happen.” She cast her eyes over the diner, wincing when she saw her last customer leave—Penny’s section still had a handful of diners, but Elizabeth was done for the moment.

“I’m sorry,” Bobbie said. “About last night. I really shouldn’t have said anything.”


“No—” Bobbie put a hand on Elizabeth’s arm. “You’re part of my family, the way that Jason is,” she added. “And I suppose I never saw it coming because in my head—” she sighed. “In my head, it’s still supposed to be Lucky.”

Elizabeth’s throat tightened and she stared blindly at the counter. “And it’s supposed to be Carly for Jason,” she muttered.

“No—well—” Bobbie pressed her lips together. “Yes, I guess maybe. Which sounds terrible since she’s married, but—”

“But you thought Jason would get her out of the marriage with Michael and they’d be a family.” Elizabeth folded her arms, picking at a loose thread in her sleeve.

“I did,” the other woman admitted. “But that’s selfish of me because Jason is a good man who deserves to be happy. And he was right—he gets to make that choice.”

“You talked to him?” Elizabeth asked, frowning. Oh, God, what had she said—

“Nothing, except that I had heard he’d moved out and was glad. He was very annoyed with me, worried I might have given you the wrong idea about how he felt,” Bobbie added. “I realize now that I heard what I wanted to hear. What I expected to hear.”

“Because Jason and I don’t go together,” Elizabeth finished when Bobbie said nothing else. “We don’t fit. I know that.”

Bobbie tilted her head to the side. “You know, I might have agreed even a week ago, but I think I just didn’t see how much you’ve grown up. You’ve been through so much, baby. I wish I could protect you from the world, but I can’t. And Jason absolutely deserves to be happy. He shouldn’t be cleaning up after my daughter or Sonny for the rest of his life. You’re both young enough to take a risk.”

Elizabeth frowned. “You don’t look like you believe what you just said.”

“It’s not that. Just because Jason is ready to let go of the last year—”

“That doesn’t mean Carly is.” Elizabeth bit her lip. And part of her wondered if Jason really was ready to move on from Carly. He’d been tangled up with her for years—had been rushing to her rescue barely two months ago. She was supposed to think that a few months of being around Elizabeth would change that?

“Just be careful,” Bobbie cautioned. “Carly can do quite a bit of damage, even when she’s not aiming directly at you.”

Corinthos Penthouse: Hallway

Jason nodded at Johnny on the door. “He wanted to see me?”

“Yeah,” the guard said, shoving the door open. “Yo, Mr. C. Jason is here—”

“Good, good.” Sonny waved him in and Jason reluctantly stepped over the threshold, avoiding the other man’s eyes. Was it always going to be this way? When Robin had hurt him, she’d left town and it had been easier to get over it. To find some understanding, even regret for how everything had worked out.

But Sonny and Carly were always in his face—even if Sonny wasn’t demanding forgiveness the way Carly was—Jason was finding it harder than he thought to handle everything. He’d stayed too long in the studio—had hoped by the time he’d left, his brain would have let it all go. But it just wasn’t working.

“I heard from my guy at the PCPD,” Sonny said. “You didn’t tell me Taggert had already gone after Elizabeth. He got a search warrant?”

“Nothing to tell.” Jason looked at Sonny’s forehead. It was easier than meeting his eyes. He didn’t know what he’d find there or if he even wanted to know. “Elizabeth handled it and he walked away. Taggert knows there’s nothing in the studio. He wanted to scare her.”

“She doesn’t scare easy,” Sonny said, folding his arms. “This isn’t going away—”

“I’m meeting with Alexis tomorrow,” Jason said. “She’ll take care of it. Taggert can’t prove anything and Elizabeth can talk circles around him.” He smiled then, not realizing it, remembering the frustrated bafflement in the other man’s eyes as Elizabeth had efficiently demanded the search warrant and located an error, forcing him to back down. She was tougher than she looked.

“I know that,” Sonny said. “I’m pretty intimidating when I want to be, but every time I tried to get you out of the studio, she just—” He shrugged. “Either ignored me or talked me around until I was agreeing with her.” He paused. “But the PCPD is still coming after you for Moreno—”

“They can do whatever they want,” Jason replied. “As long as Elizabeth is out of it.”

“She’s not giving you an alibi?” Sonny asked. “I thought she’d want to—”

“I don’t think she’d refuse,” Jason said slowly, hating that he even had to have this conversation, but Sonny’s business depended on keeping people out of jail so he, at least, had a right to know whether or not Jason was about to be arrested. “But I don’t want her to lie for me.”

“If it comes down to proving you were somewhere else—”

“Carly knows I wasn’t with Elizabeth that way,” Jason told Sonny with a shake of his head. “So—”

“Actually—” Sonny winced. “She doesn’t know. She saw you dancing with Elizabeth. At Kelly’s.” At Jason’s scowl, he sighed. “That’s why she was here,” he said. “She wanted to know how long that was going on. And I probably—” He hissed. “I egged her on. Didn’t tell it was probably innocent.” Sonny eyed him. “Whether or not it would be now—”

“It’s none of her business what I do,” Jason said, stiffly. “She married AJ. She made her choice. I’m making mine.”

“Okay,” Sonny drawled, waiting as if Jason would volunteer more but there was no way Jason was giving Sonny any more information about his life. Not when Sonny seemed to doubt the way Jason ran his life. Sonny had wanted to Carly out of his life, so he’d taken her. Jason didn’t want to know what Sonny might try if he didn’t want Elizabeth around.

No one going to take her away from him, unless Elizabeth didn’t want him anymore.

“Carly knows you were with Elizabeth that night. She doesn’t know exactly when you got shot. So if Elizabeth gave an alibi—”

“I’m not asking her to lie for me,” Jason cut in. “And that’s the end of it.”

Kelly’s: Diner

“So, really,” Elizabeth said to Francis as he stacked another set of chairs on a table as she mopped one half of the diner. “You just sit all day and watch me work? That’s it?”

“That’s it,” Francis said. “Mostly—” he hesitated.

“Mostly it’s to make sure the warehouse guys know I’m being protected,” Elizabeth said with a half smile. “I’m not an idiot. I told Jason about Sorel’s guys, and you showed up the next day.”

“That might be part of it,” the guard said, with a shrug. “Mr. C also likes you. Said you were a top priority.”

“Oh.” Elizabeth wasn’t sure if she’d ever thought about being the top priority to a notorious gangster, but nothing in her life had gone the way she’d planned since she’d moved to Port Charles. In fact, dating the number two guy in the local mob and needing a guard was probably the least traumatic experience she’d had so far. “Well, that’s probably a good place to be if someone has to be on a list.”

“It’s not bad.”

The bell over the door jingled as Jason opened it, nodding to Francis. “Hey.” He glanced at Elizabeth. “Can I—”

“Sorel’s guys sat in Penny’s section,” Elizabeth said as she moved the mop over to the section where Francis had stacked the chairs. “They said nothing, just like yesterday.”

Jason winced, then tipped his head to the guard.

“Night, Miss Webber,” Francis said as he took his coat from the rack and put it on. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow, Mr. Corelli.”

Francis flashed a grin as he left and Jason made a face as Elizabeth finished mopping the diner. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to sound like he was reporting back to me—”

“It’s his job,” Elizabeth said with a shrug. She picked up the bucket, waving him off. “I let Francis stack the chairs because I couldn’t stop him,” she said as she went into the kitchen to dump it. “I don’t mind closing and cleaning up. Bobbie pays extra.”

Something was off, Jason realized as he watched Elizabeth efficiently finish all the tasks and put on her coat. “Are you okay?”

“Me?” Elizabeth hesitated, then looked at him. “Yeah. It’s just—” She wrinkled her nose. “It’s silly, but I guess I’m still—this is weird, right?” She met his eyes. “A few days ago, we were something else. And now, we’re—whatever. And it’s just—” She bit her lip, then leaned up to kiss him, blushing furiously as she stepped back. “I’m allowed to do that now and not just think about it.”

Jason returned her grin, swallowing her smile as he kissed her again, letting himself push everything else away. He sucked her bottom lip into his mouth, soothing the nicks she’d caused by biting it.  “I know,” he murmured, as he drew back. He wound one of her curls around his finger. “But I like it.”

“Me, too.” She smiled again, slid her hand in his, and then they left to take the cliff roads.


  • Carly is going to be trouble. I enjoyed Bobbie’s talk with Elizabeth. She just has to believe that Jason cares for her and she’s his type. I’m not sure how I feel about Sonny.

    According to arcoiris0502 on February 2, 2023
  • My head hurts from the back and forth between those two about their relationship. Carly will get what she deserves when AJ takes Michael away from her and sends her back to Florida with Walmart clothes on.

    According to Shelly Samuel on February 3, 2023
  • I am surprised Carly didn’t confront Jason or Elizabeth which means she is planning something. I’m glad Elizabeth kissed Jason and didn’t listen to Bobbie.

    According to Carla P on February 4, 2023
  • I’m still smiling at the way Elizabeth handle Taggert and his search warrant. Carly is going to cause trouble again. I hope she doesn’t get Jason arrested.

    According to Carla P on August 30, 2023